My students at Hofstra Law School are organizing a free citizenship day for immigrants who want to apply to become United States Citizens. Anyone who wants to participate should bring their proof of permanent residence (green card). No appointment is necessary. Here is the information on when and where:
Where:Long Island Civic Engagement Table, 1090 Suffolk Avenue, Brentwood, NY !11717 (516)489-8330
Date:Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10am to 3pm.
With Citizenship Day coming up, I thought it would be a good time to review the requirements and prerequisites for applying for citizenship.
The first requirement for applying for citizenship is that an immigrant must be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), also known as a “green-card holder”. Generally, you must be an LPR for five years before you can qualify for citizenship. Any time spent in the U.S. legally before becoming an LPR usually does not count towards the five-year requirement.
Not all green card holders have to wait five years to become citizens. Exceptions include spouses of U.S. citizens and members of the military – their wait times are substantially less.
The second requirement is that the immigrant must show “Good Moral Character,” meaning he or she must not have any serious criminal convictions, must have paid taxes, and must have supported his or her children.
The immigrant is also required to know how to read, write and speak English. He or she must demonstrate knowledge of American history and civics by passing an examination, as well as show loyalty to the United States and support the Constitution.